In 2015/16 Islington Museum worked with six local primary schools on an Arts Council England Project to explore our collections from a new creative perspective.
We believe that artistic creativity can be inspired by any object and wanted to find out how this could take place. We also wanted to explore creative ways for both artists and schools to access our collections separately and in tandem.
Teachers from Blessed Sacrament Primary, Montem Primary, Moreland Primary, Samuel Rhodes Primary, Robert Blair Primary and Vittoria Primary School each chose an object from our collection that inspired them. The objects they chose were interestingly not those we normally use with school groups, ranging from a household archaeology collection to an Air and Gas machine for home births. The teachers were then partnered with one of our lovely project artists, Ella Phillips, Ella Medley-Whitfield and Sarah Pimenta. The teachers worked with our project artists to design an innovative class creative project inspired by their chosen object. They were to deliver this project over 5 half day sessions.
The projects were highly varied, using materials and approaches not normally used within the classroom, especially at KS1. They encouraged the children to explore the objects from multiple perspectives, experiment with new techniques and use different media. From plaster of paris to interviewing colours, experimenting with cyanotypes and mixing medicines nothing was too messy or experimental.
While the teachers delivered the project, the artists worked alongside the children to create their own new artwork, responding to both the object and the class.
The resulting 6 museum objects, 6 class artworks and the new works by the 6 artists were then exhibited together in the museum.
Find out more about the individual school projects:
Blessed Sacrament Primary School
Water logs: art inspired by nature and water
Explore our 17th Century wooden water pipe and the New River through mark making, rain makers, rubbings, mono printing and collage.
Vittoria Primary School
Explore our infamous collection of collage book covers with literacy, design and technology, hacking, ICT, collage and splicing!
KS2 and KS3
Montem Primary School
53 Cross Street: Victorian art inspired by found objects
A Georgian house, a Victorian family home, a hidden gem filled with fragments of wallpaper, lost objects, hidden messages and secrets. Explore 53 Cross Street through experimental art with links to history, literacy and play.
EYFS and KS1
Morelands Primary School
WWI Embroidered Postcards: sharing cultures, sharing lives
During the First World War, teenage Leonard Mansfield sent embroidered postcards from the Western Front back home in Islington. Moreland Primary were inspired to explore their own cultural heritage in this printing project.
EYFS and KS1
Samuel Rhodes Primary School
Gas-Air machine: exploring bodies and the senses
The Gas-Air machine from the 1940s was used as virtually the only form of pain relief for women giving birth. Samuel Rhodes SEN School took this unlikely object as the inspiration for their sensory art project.
SEN, KS1 and KS2
Robert Blair Primary School
UV Light Therapy Goggles: art and light
In the early 20th century rickets was a very common disorder among children. UV light therapy was a new treatment used to help treat children. Robert Blair Primary explored light and colour combining science and art in a range of creative experiments.
KS1 and KS2
Find out more about the final artworks:
Water logs: Sarah Pimenta and Blessed Sacrament RC Primary School
Joe Orton Book Cover Collages: Ella Phillips and Vittoria Primary School
53 Cross Street: Ella Medley-Whitfield and Montem Primary School
WWI Embroidered Postcards: Sarah Pimenta and Morelands Primary School
Gas-Air machine: Ella Medley-Whitfield andSamuel Rhodes Primary School
UV Light Therapy Goggles: art and light: Ella Phillips and Robert Blair Primary School
Find out more about the exhibition:
The exhibition was opened on the 7th July 2016 with a private view for all our artists and their family and friends.